The 2011 Iizuna Fire Festival

July 26th, 2011 by
Category: Events

Lots of summer festivals in Japan are crowded and hot, but here’s one where you can remove the summer heat and enjoy the festivities in the cool, comfortable weather of a mountain highland.  On August 10th, the 44th Annual Iizuna Fire Festival will be held at Daiza-Hoshi-ike (pond), in Iizuna Kogen.

Publicity poster for the 2011 Iizuna Fire Festival

Publicity poster for the 2011 Iizuna Fire Festival

The festival begins at 5pm, and includes omikoshi (portable shrine), a giant bonfire over the water of the pond and a nice fireworks show.  Among the fireworks is a Niagara display across the length of the pond itself.

Getting up to Iizuna Kogen is a bit of an adventure.  You can take any of the public buses that run up to Togakushi from Nagano Station.  Just get off at Daiza-Hoshi-ike and you’ll be right smack in the middle of the party.

If you choose to drive up, you can take either the Nana-magari road, behind Zenkoji, followed by the Togakushi Birdline all the way up.  It is about a 25-minute drive up from Zenkoji.  When you see the pond on the left side of the road, you’ll know you are there.  An alternative route is the Asakawa Loop Line road, a newer course built for the 1998 Olympics.  That road starts in Uematsu and ends at the Iizuna Kogen Ski Area, to the north of Daiza-Hoshi-Ike.

Parking is available in the vicinity of the Iizuna Kogen Ski Area, north of the pond.  There is also a parking lot at Ichi-no-tori-en, across the street from the Nagano Country Club.  Shuttle buses will take you to the pond from each of these parking areas.  There is a 200 yen charge per person for the shuttle bus.  Two more parking areas are a bit closer by, in the area of the fire station, but they do not have shuttle bus service.

Come on up and enjoy the show — and the cool weather!

Details on schedules, maps and other information can be viewed at the Iizuna Kogen Tourism Association’s website here (Japanese only).

About Robert

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting Go! Nagano! I have been living in Nagano since 1999 and am now raising a family here. It is truly a great place to be! I am originally from Farmington, Connecticut in the United States of America. I went to college at New York University, majoring in Drama with a primary focus in production and promotion. I minored in music theory. I lived and worked in New York City for a while, but after a few years, I decided I had to get out, and I high-tailed it right out of the country. I literally went to the other side of the world, spending a year in a neighboring prefecture before finally settling down in Nagano. What I found so appealing about Nagano was the relaxed lifestyle and the abundance of natural beauty all around. As an avid hiker, I am always looking for new places to climb up and enjoy the view. And with four children, I am always looking for outdoor activities to do with the kids. In this blog, my hope is to inform future visitors about all the outdoor activites you can take part in around here, from hiking to family friendly activities or anything else going on. I hope you'll come and visit soon!

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